MANILA, Philippines – “You’re next.”
This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s brief but chilling warning to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog on Wednesday, October 25.
Speaking at an ASEAN Law Association event in Malacañang, Duterte said: “The mayor of Iloilo City, I identified him. This was broadcasted. I said you are next, you’re next.”
Duterte has accused Mabilog of being in cahoots with drug lords, after claiming that the mayor’s city is a prime hub for the trafficking of shabu.
The President’s warning was preceded by a reminder to Mabilog of the fate of another local politician accused of working with drug lords – Reynaldo Parojinog Sr of Ozamiz City.
Duterte claimed he ordered the deadly raid that killed Parojinog and 14 others, the first time he clearly admitted direct involvement in the operation.
He said this proves he is going after the “big fish,” not just the poor drug peddlers and addicts.
“They say this Duterte is only going after the small fry. Really? When I ordered an operation against Parojinog, the mayor of Ozamiz City, I didn’t have second thoughts about what would happen because I knew they were going to fight it out,” said Duterte.
He likened Parojinog to Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, who was killed in his jail cell in Leyte, supposedly after a shootout with police. The National Bureau of Investigation, however, concluded that police murdered Espinosa.
Instead of condemning the cops, Duterte reinstated the police officer who supervised the operation and assured the public they have nothing to fear.
Local chief executives like Mabilog, Parojinog, and Espinosa do not deserve to be treated well because of how they have abused their power, declared the President.
“Your rights will end where the interest of my country begins…Do not ever, ever mess up with my country. We will never understand each other,” said Duterte.
The 3 mayors are included in Duterte’s list of suspected drug personalities.
The President earlier ordered a lifestyle check on Mabilog and also admitted wiretapping narcopoliticians, without saying he had the court orders to do so.
Mabilog maintains his innocence. – Rappler.com
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